The Bel Tel was named the newspaper of the year for the second year in a row at the annual CIPR Northern Ireland Media Awards, while its reporters won a number of other categories.
The Telegraph’s Weekend magazine was named supplement of the year, deputy editor Gail Walker was named features journalist of the year, consumer correspondent Claire McNeilly was named business journalist of the year and Deborah McAleese won scoop of the year.
The Sunday Life was named the best Sunday newspaper, while news reporter Sara Girvan was named newcomer of the year and sports editor Paul Ferguson was named sports journalist of the year.
Weekly title the Impartial Reporter also won two prizes at the awards, being named the best local newspaper and reporter Rodney Edwards as the best local newspaper journalist.
Among the big stories making the headlines for the Bel Tel were its coverage of the historic handshake between Martin McGuinness and the Queen, the flag protests which paralysed Belfast before Christmas and top sports stories including extensive coverage of the Olympics.
Editor Mike Gilson said that the newspaper of the year award was a tribute to a “great team effort”.
He said: “It reflects the hard work and creativity that we thrive on. We try to reflect the news accurately, becoming the centre of debate for those issues, and know when we should also come off the fence and get involved.
“That was evident during the flag protests in which our reporting was second to none, but when we needed to help we launched our Backing Belfast campaign.”
Other winners included Mary Burke of the County Derry Post who was named local photographer of the year, while Mal McCann of the Irish News was named the top news photographer and Nuala McCann of the Irish News won columnist of the year.
The specialist journalist award went to Paula Mackin of the Sunday World, who also won the best journalist title.